Venice film festival 2015: Golden Lion goes to Venezuela’s From Afar

Unheralded first Venezuelan film to be selected for Venice competition takes top prize, with Charlie Kaufman’s Anomalisa taking second spot

The first ever Venezuelan film to be selected for competition at the Venice film festival has carried off the top prize. Desde Allá (From Afar), directed by Lorenzo Vigas, was given the Golden Lion by a heavyweight festival jury headed by Gravity director Alfonso Cuaron, and including directors Lynne Ramsay, Pawel Pawlikowski, Hou Hsiao-hsien and Nuri Bilge Ceylan.

Vigas’ film was an unexpected winner, even if it carried the marque of influential Mexican scriptwriter Guillermo Arriaga (Amores Perros, Babel) among its credits. Starring Alfredo Castro, it is about a 50 year old man who pays young men for company but no physical intimacy, and is Vigas’ directorial debut.

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Google reveals plans to increase production of self-driving cars

Head of policy for GoogleX hints it could possibly move towards mass manufacturing of fully autonomous prototypes, ahead of road tests in Austin

As a handful of Google’s self-driving cars venture outside California for the first time, arriving on the streets of Austin, Texas, this week, the company has revealed its plans to build many more fully autonomous prototypes, and possibly move towards mass manufacturing.

When Google introduced the low-speed, two-seater electric cars last year, it said it was going to build just 100 vehicles by the end of 2015. But speaking at the California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday, Sarah Hunter, head of policy for GoogleX, said: “We’re … making a few hundred of them. We’re making them to enable our team to learn how to actually build a self-driving vehicle from the ground up.”

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